If this Bear Path quilt looks familiar, that’s because it is! I used this quilt in my Hand Quilting 101 video! Once I had finished quilting it, I debated what I should turn it into. Ultimately, I decided a floor pillow/dog bed was the perfect use for this Bear Path quilt! Turns out, a dog bed DIY was the perfect weekend project!
I made the Wall Hanging size of the Bear Path quilt, which finishes at 26″ square. The first step was sourcing a pillow insert for this quilt. I finally sourced an “oversize Euro” pillow at Kohl’s that measured 27″ square. I’ve learned over the years that you actually want your pillow insert to be larger than your pillow cover for a really nice, full look.
To make this Dog Bed DIY, I followed my instructions on the Zippered Pillows Tutorial in 3 Sizes blog post to prep my pillow front and back and add in the zipper. I used a 24″ zipper for this floor pillow. I also used 1/4″ seams instead of the 1/2″ seams stated in the original tutorial. This is because Bear Path has HSTs on the corners and I didn’t want to lose those nice points! The tutorial walks you through how to add in a zipper, and as you can tell, it is adaptable to any size pillow!
I like to quilt both the front and the back of my pillows. It makes them extra cozy! For the back I pieced together leftover scraps and chose a large diagonal grid quilting pattern. I varied the thread colors, using the same threads on fabrics as I did in the front. My favorite part is the intersections of fabrics/thread and how they seamlessly change from one to the other! It is so nice to love the back of your item as much as the front!
I call this a floor pillow AND a dog bed because it really can be used for both! Riley is 15lbs and about 15″ tall at the shoulder (he’s very leggy) and he fit nicely on top of this pillow. If you were making a dog bed for a larger dog, I would first determine what you wanted the finished size to be. Then, search out a pattern that is similar in size to what you’re looking for. Baby and Crib sized quilts would be the perfect size for a larger dog!
You can stuff your dog bed with whatever you wish – a pillow (like I did), multiple pillows sewn together or laid next to each other for a larger dog bed, batting and fabric scraps, or bean bag filling. If using bean bag filling, first make a pillowcase and stuff that with the bean bag pellets, then put it in your throw cover. You don’t want the zipper on the throw cover to accidentally come undone and have bean bag pellets all over your house. Not only is it a mess to clean up, but they can be harmful for the animals and small humans in your home.
One thing that I have noticed with fabric scraps is that they are heavy! They lend to a very dense filling for pillows, poufs, and dog beds. Consider mixing fabric scraps with polyester fluff or adding a layer of foam before adding the scraps to add that desired squishiness factor.
Riley made himself quite at home on this dog bed! One more thing to note, is that if I was making this for a larger dog, I would probably opt for machine quilting. Those dog nails can get in between the hand quilting and pull/rip threads! Riley isn’t destructive (he’s a very gentle dog) so I felt safe going with hand quilting on this.
Supplies used for this dog bed DIY:
- Riley Blake Designs Confetti Cottons
- Aurifil thread
- Find all my favorite hand quilting supplies including hera markers, chalk pencils, milliner’s needles, and more in my Amazon storefront